The dollar is little changed in comparison to its major rivals on Tuesday, but is slightly weaker. A number of U.S. economic reports were released this morning and they were largely better than expected. The FOMC has begun its 2-day meeting today and is expected to make an announcement Wednesday afternoon. Investors are also eagerly anticipating the all important jobs report for July, which will be released on Friday.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has stated that the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Investors are looking for some crucial action from the European Central Bank, which holds its rate-setting session on Thursday.
The dollar has pulled back from Monday’s high of $1.2224 versus the Euro on Tuesday, back to around $1.2300.
The Eurozone unemployment rate remained unchanged at a record high in June, Eurostat reported Tuesday. The jobless rate for June was 11.2 percent, the same as seen in May. The rate matched economists’ expectations.
Eurozone inflation remained stable in July as expected by economists, data published by Eurostat showed Tuesday. The annual rate came in at 2.4 percent, above the central bank’s target of “below but close to 2 percent.” The final data is due on August 16.
Unemployment in Germany increased for a fourth straight month in July as employers remained reluctant to hire more staff amid the intensified debt crisis in Eurozone and the uncertainty surrounding the economic prospects of the currency bloc.
The Federal Labor Agency said Tuesday that the number of unemployed rose by 7,000 in July from a month earlier to 2.89 million. This was in line with economists’ forecasts and followed a similar increase in the previous month.
Germany’s retail sales dropped unexpectedly in June from the prior month, data from the Federal Statistical Office revealed Tuesday. Retail turnover was down 0.1 percent from May, in contrast to a 0.5 percent rise expected by economists. Nonetheless, the rate of decline was slower than the 0.3 percent drop seen in May.
France’s producer prices increased less than economists expected in June, data released by statistical office Insee showed Tuesday. The producer price index for the domestic market increased 1.3 percent on an annual basis in June, notably slower than the 2.1 percent gain economists had forecast.
France’s consumer spending increased at a slower-than-expected rate in June, data released by the statistical office INSEE revealed Tuesday. Household spending edged up 0.1 percent month-on-month, following a 0.5 percent gain in each of the previous two months. Economists were looking for a 0.2 percent increased.
The greenback reached a 3-session high of $1.5624 versus the pound sterling Tuesday morning, but has since eased back to around $1.5670.
British consumer confidence remained at low level in July as hosting of Olympics failed to offset consumers’ concerns about their personal and general economic situation. Market research agency GfK NOP said that the consumer confidence index was at -29 in July, unchanged from June and May.
The buck has dipped to Y78.125 versus the Japanese Yen on Tuesday and is testing the lower end of a range it has been moving in since July 22nd.
The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in June, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday. That beat forecasts for 4.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month’s reading.
The average of monthly consumption expenditures per household in Japan climbed 1.6 percent on year in June, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday, coming in at 269,810 yen. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 2.9 percent following the 4.0 percent surge in May.
In a report released Tuesday, the Commerce Department said personal income in the U.S. rose by $61.8 billion in June, an increase of 0.5 percent. The income growth was stronger than the 0.4 percent increase predicted by most economists and comes atop revised figures that showed income rose by 0.3 percent in May compared to the 0.2 percent initially reported.
However, consumer spending, known formally as personal consumption expenditures, fell marginally in June, dropping $1.3 billion. Because that decrease represents less than 0.1 percent, Commerce Department figures report it as essentially level. Most economists had predicted that June consumer spending figures would show at least a slight 0.1 percent increase.
Home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas rose by more than anticipated in the month of May, according to a report released by Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday. The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose by 2.2 percent in May following a 1.3 percent increase in April. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.2 percent.
Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly expanded at a faster rate in the month of July, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management – Chicago on Tuesday. The ISM Chicago said its business barometer rose to 53.7 in July from 52.9 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in business activity. The modest increase by the business barometer came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to edge down to 52.5.
With consumers becoming more optimistic about the short-term outlook, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected improvement in consumer confidence in the month of July. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index climbed to 65.9 in July from an upwardly revised 62.7 in June. Economists had expected the index to slip to 61.5 from the 62.0 originally reported for the previous month.